Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) has a 40-year history of providing exemplary early childhood education. The new Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory building relocates the existing program onto campus and aims “to become an internationally recognized, premier center of excellence.” The learning laboratory will centralize the program to its users and support hands-on learning for college students at GRCC.
Due to an aggressive design schedule, our team used a series of design charrettes with GRCC to define goals, prioritize dreams, iterate options, and synthesize decisions to strengthen the program’s ambitions. The single-story building features a flexible multi-purpose room, an adjacent family reception lobby, administrative support offices, and adaptable classroom laboratories. We also worked to provide direct access to natural light, as well as the functionality for optional outdoor learning.
With the addition of the Early Childhood Learning Laboratory, GRCC aims to elevate the program as a community-based resource dedicated to early childhood education for educators, parents, and providers throughout the Grand Rapids Community.